The Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced the establishment of a $210 million trust to endow a scholarship program in perpetuity that will enable gifted graduate students to study at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England. The gift is the largest ever received by the storied university.
The first class of Gates Cambridge Scholars — 151 students from 51 countries — have already been selected based on their academic achievements and leadership potential. Eventually, the program will support more than 250 scholars at any one time.
Graduate students from any country in the world outside the United Kingdom are eligible to apply for the scholarships, which cover tuition, board, and travel. Through the initiative, the Gates Foundation hopes to create a network of future leaders who will bring vision and commitment to improving the life circumstances of citizens in their respective countries. Over time, it is anticipated that Gates Cambridge Scholars will take a lead in addressing global problems related to health, equity, technology, and learning — areas in which the foundation is deeply engaged.
"This first class of scholars brings some of the best and brightest students from around the world to Cambridge," said Gates Foundation co-chair and CEO William H Gates, Sr. "In years to come, we hope they will be leaders in their fields and contributors to their home countries."